2006 Volvo XC90


12/27/13:  This has to be the one project I failed at and didn’t have the ambition to complete the job.  I put it back together and told my father-in-law to take it to a shop for the repair.


The problem laid behind the brake rotor, so I removed the axle nut.


Then the brake rotor itself was removed with 5 bolts.  This vehicle is like my VW Bug where the lug nuts are bolts and you have to line the tire up exactly to bolt the tire back on.


The problem had something to do with the axle bearing or something like that.  I don’t remember.  All I remember was it was cold, I was tired, and I couldn’t get it off without specialty tools.


2005 Ford Explorer Sports-Trac



7/18/12:  While attending college, I had a classmate named Mark ask me about some of his car troubles.  I was able to point him in the right direction to get the necessary replacement parts for his 2005 Ford Explorer Sports-Trac and help install them.


He needed to replace a busted out side lamp and bulb on the left front of his truck.  Amazon had a full replacement for half the cost of auto parts stores.  A few bolts under the hood and we replaced the shatter bulb before popping in the new side lamp in the matter of minutes.


We also replaced a busted out mirror on the passenger side.  Only the glass was broken but it was easier and cheaper to replace the whole unit.


We had to temporarily remove the door panel to disconnect the old wires and reattach the new wires. Not super difficult with the Ford door panels.


Several minutes later the new mirror was installed, wires reconnected, and door panel back on.


2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

12/13/12:  My neighbor Spencer had a second car in addition to his 02 Chevy Malibu that he wanted an oil change on.  His 2004 Chevy Cavalier has an unique oil filter and location; different then the average car.


First thing we did was remove the air intake resonator to gain better access to the oil filter location.


You can see the oil filter location wedged between the intake manifold and one of the radiator hoses (as seen above) and a better picture seen below.


The oil was drained out and then the cap of this filter location was removed.  Inside was an oil element instead of the hard case oil filter seen on other cars.


Soaked the new filter in oil, removed the old oil filter, and replaced it with the new one.  This is the only vehicle I have seen with this filter location that I have worked on, so far.


2003 Toyota Corolla


5/29/12:  Replaced the brake pads on my friend, Jared’s 2003 Toyota Corolla while at college in Rexburg, Idaho.  Definitely easier when you have a second person to help bleed the brakes after installing the new pads.


I typically hold a rag and open the bleeder valve to decompress the caliper to fit over the new pads.  Then I tighten the valve again and get a second person to help me bleed the brakes to get all trapped air bubbles out.  The method to catching the spray of brake fluid with a rag works well, as it doesn’t spew everywhere.